Roe v. Wade Lawyer ‘Amazed’ Americans Still Fighting Over Abortion

Source: Time

Annual March For Life Rally Winds Through Washington DC

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: Pro-life activists watch U.S. President Donald Trump giving remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House on a jumbotron during a rally at the National Mall prior to the 2018 March for Life January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in the nation’s capital for the annual event to protest the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By OLIVIA B. WAXMAN

January 20, 2018

It was 45 years ago Monday — on Jan. 22, 1973 — that the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 7-2 decision in Roe v. Wade: that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy extended to decisions about whether to terminate a pregnancy, thus essentially declaring that laws prohibiting abortion were unconstitutional.

But, rather than closing the book on the issue, the ruling opened a Pandora’s box.

And it remains open to this day. On Thursday, the Trump administration revealed its plan to create a federal office that would protect medical providers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures. The next day, the White House declared the Roe anniversary to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day, and President Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life rally, the major anti-abortion gathering that’s been held annually since the first anniversary of Roe. And on Saturday, reproductive rights are sure to be a topic of discussion among the many who are marching nationwide in an encore of last year’s Women’s March.

One person with a unique perspective on the aftermath of Roe is lawyer Sarah Weddington, 72, of Austin. When she was just 26, in what would be one of several milestones in her legal career, she argued on behalf of “Jane Roe” (later revealed to be Norma McCorvey) in the famous suit. TIME has caught up with Weddington to mark the Roe anniversary before, a tradition of sorts that continued this week. Below is an edited transcript of that conversation.

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